Google will reportedly reveal a 4K capable Chromecast on October 4

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Google will be holding a hardware focused event on October 4th where, among other devices, they will reportedly reveal a 4K capable Chromecast, according to Android Police. Sources say the device will either be called the Chromecast Plus or Chromecast Ultra, but not much else is known. Given the simple and minimalistic nature of the Chromecast, I’d expect it to function identically to the existing Chromecast, but have the horsepower to decode 2160p streaming video.

Google will reportedly also “fully detail” the Google Home speaker, which is their competitor to the Amazon Echo. Additionally, they will reveal two new flagship phones, called the Pixel and Pixel XL, instead of Nexus branded phones like they usually do, and Google’s VR headset, called the Daydream View.

Based on this news of a 4K Chromecast, the likelihood that Amazon will be announcing a 4K Fire TV Stick soon has just shot up from unlikely to pretty likely in my book.

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Understanding the reasoning behind Amazon’s ban of the Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus Player

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Amazon’s decision to stop selling streaming devices that don’t support Amazon Prime Video has ruffled quite a few feathers. Many see this decision as a way for Amazon to hurt the sales of competing devices, but there is a lot more to it than that. The real issue, and likely the driving force behind this decision by Amazon, is with in-app purchase restrictions imposed by Apple and Google, as well as the closed nature of the Google Cast protocol. Read more ›

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Amazon to stop selling Apple TV and Chromecast for lack of Prime Video support

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The gloves have come off as Amazon will reportedly stop selling streaming video devices that do not support Prime Video, like the Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus Player. Bloomberg Business is reporting that Amazon marketplace sellers have been sent an email from Amazon outlining the changes. New listings for non-Prime Video streaming devices will not be allowed and existing inventory will be removed from Amazon on Oct. 29th. Devices like Rokus, Xboxs, and PlayStations will not be affected because they support Prime Video streaming. Read more ›

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Google announces new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio

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At today’s Google event, the company announced a refresh to the Chromecast as well as a new second Chromecast Audio device. The updated Chromecast will continue to be a $35 HDMI device for receiving content from phones and tablets. It has a new look which resembles a disc instead of a stick, with a flexible HDMI connector, which Google says will reduce interference by causing the device to hang further away from the TV. Read more ›

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Google has Chromecast Receiver app pulled from the Fire TV Appstore

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Last month, I wrote about a new Fire TV app called YouMap Cast Receiver which essentially turned any Fire TV or Fire TV Stick into a Chromecast. The app disappeared from the Fire TV appstore a few days ago and now the developers have confirmed that the app was removed at Google’s request. YouMap worked with most Google Cast enabled apps to cast video and audio to the Fire TV. It did not work with copy protected content, but did allow you to cast a Chrome browser tab to your Fire TV. If you purchased and already have the app installed on your Fire TV, the developers say it will continue to work until the end of this year. However, the developers are unsure whether they will continue to support the app, stating that that they will be focusing on apps using the AirPlay and Miracast protocols moving forward. Those of you who paid the app’s $7.99 price may want to ask Amazon for a refund because you will not be able to install/reinstall the app anymore.

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YouMap turns your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick into a Chromecast Receiver

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YouMap Cast Receiver is a new Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick app that adds Google Cast support to your device, which essentially turns your Fire TV into a Chromecast. The app is priced a bit high at $7.99, but may be worth it to some if it can live upto it’s promise of replacing the functionality of the $35 Chromecast. The good news is, you don’t have to take the developer’s word on the app’s abilities before shelling over the dough. The developers are letting anyone try the app for free until the end of August. Just sideload this APK file, which will stop working on August 31st, to give the app a try. Read more ›

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Google Chromecast plus Free $10 Amazon Gift Card for $29.99 [Expired]

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Want to send content from your smartphone or tablet but dont want to wait for app developers to add Amazon Fling support into their apps? Then you’re in luck. Amazon just started a new promotion where you will get a free $10 Amazon Gift Card when you buy a Google Chromecast. The Chromecast is currently discounted by $5 and is on sale for $29.99. That makes the effective price just $19.99 which is the cheapest I’ve ever seen for the Chromecast. Just head on over to the promotion page, add both the Chromecast and $10 gift card to your cart, and you’ll automatically see a $10 “Google Promotion” credit applied at checkout. This offer is good through August 9th, but will be cut off sooner if supplies run out, which is bound to happen at this price, so get your orders in quick if you’re interested.

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HBO Now officially announced for Android and Chromecast

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HBO Now is currently only available on Apple devices due to an exclusivity deal between the two companies. Apple’s exclusivity deal is expected to end in about a month and, unsurprisingly, it looks like the Google Play Store will be the next platform to get the new service. The announcement was made during today’s big Google I/O keynote presentation. No specifics were given during the announcement, but HBO has said the service will arrive on Android “this summer” with support for casting to Chromecast devices. Interestingly, the announcement was made during the Chromecast portion of Google’s keynote, not during the brief Android TV portion. It wouldn’t surprise me if HBO Now was initially incompatible with Android TV when it arrives in the Google Play Store.

This announcement is good news for Fire TV users since it doesn’t take much to release a Fire TV version of the app once HBO finishes their Android version. We may even be able to sideload and use the Android version on Fire TV devices while we wait for official support from HBO.

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Spark turns your Fire TV into a Chromecast

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Spark, an application which adds Chromecast like features to the Fire TV, has just come out of private beta and is available for all to try. Spark is a suite of free applications which allow you to send video or an entire tab from the Chrome browser to your Fire TV. The app is not available in the Amazon Appstore, but rather, the app needs to be sideloaded. The guys behind Spark have done a great job making the entire process uniquely effortless. Read more ›

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